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BlogHer 2012 – Continuing the Conversations

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By Margaret Gurowitz
Aug 09, 2012

Company founder Robert Wood Johnson (L) and Director of Scientific Affairs Fred Kilmer (R). They both understood the importance of conversations.

More than a hundred years ago, Johnson & Johnson founder Robert Wood Johnson and Director of Scientific Affairs Fred Kilmer spent a lot of time getting out and talking to a lot of people -- mothers, fathers and families who used our products, members of the medical profession, and the retail pharmacists who sold Johnson & Johnson products before the age of supermarkets.  Those conversations led to some pretty significant milestones in Johnson & Johnson history – such as JOHNSON’S® Baby Powder in 1894, maternity kits to make childbirth safer in the 1890s, and the first commercial first aid kits in 1888.  Both men began their careers in retail pharmacies, and that taught them that one of the most important things you can do to build relationships is to get out there and talk to people.  They brought that philosophy to Johnson & Johnson.

General Robert Wood Johnson, from our archives

General Robert Wood Johnson (son of our founder with the same name), who led Johnson & Johnson from 1932 to 1963, also was a big believer getting out there and having conversations.  Johnson wrote that “business is people.”  He understood the importance of  talking with your fellow citizens in the community, and he made it a point to do that throughout his career.

The Johnson & Johnson booth at BlogHer 2012

So last week, Johnson & Johnson was at BlogHer 2012 in New York, to carry on that tradition of having conversations.  We were there with some of our community partners, Save the Children, Safe Kids, text4baby and Helping Babies Breathe, who are working to improve maternal and child health across the world, and we hosted a sponsored session on "The State of the World's Mothers: Working Together to Save & Improve Lives."  We met a lot of really inspiring, funny, creative and dedicated people, and we’re hoping to continue those conversations with our old friends, our new friends and our digital neighbors through social media.

Just 117 years more, and I’ll be able to connect this thing to the Internet. (Photo of Johnson & Johnson employee in our New Brunswick, NJ office, in 1895, from our archives.)


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